The LORD of Glory has revealed HIMSELF as the first cause of all things. “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” (Deut 32:39) It never ceases to amaze me that there are some who are reluctant to declare this very basic truth about the LIVING GOD who, HIMSELF, delights in recounting HIS design and predestination of all events. “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isa 45:5-7)
HE has revealed HIMSELF to be a “jealous GOD” (see Ex.20:5; 34:14; Deut.4:24; 5:9). HE delights in HIS own glory and will not share that with any. “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.” (Isa 48:11) We see this when HE revealed HIMSELF to Moses, who asked who HE was, “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM” (Exo 3:13-14)
So, if HE, who made the world out of nothing, declares, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isa 46:9-11) Why should the potsherds of the earth not fall upon their faces and gladly proclaim HIS glorious character in the ordination and execution of all that comes to pass?
There is no “logical” reason that men should not with one accord fall on their faces and declare with the congregation that was at the heavenly barbeque on Mt. Carmel “The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.” (1Kings 18:39) Nothing can transpire in this world except it be according to HIM who “doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan 4:35) Yet because of the hardness of their hearts they despise this ONE who is the GOD of all gods and prefer a more manageable “quasi-god” that they can manipulate and direct according to their own desires and supposed “free will”, one who loves everybody but can only do a limited amount to help them and really wouldn’t hurt a flea if he could avoid it.
This “quasi-god” has power to do just about anything except to invade the space of man’s sovereign “free-will”. He can change events, but he cannot ordain their outcome except in the most extreme cases, and then only in a limited fashion. Need I say that this is no god at all but is one like Baal, Dagon, and all the other impostors which men embrace rather than the ONE true and living GOD who needs none nor asks permission to do as HE pleases. Who can stand before HIM? “our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psa 115:3)
The “wise” of this world have sought to explain away the absolute predestination of all things that come to pass by an all wise and sovereign GOD, because they mistakenly and confusedly say that men cannot be held accountable for something which they are predisposed to do. Yet they will in most cases freely admit that men in general are predisposed to sin by their own nature (see Rom.3:12) and believe that each man is nonetheless accountable for his actions. Else why would we have laws, jails, and police departments.
The real issue is that men would rather submit to their own “predestination” (the operation of their free will) than to the ONE who alone (in actuality) ordains all things according to HIS own will. They say, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14) but they will gladly submit themselves to their own flesh even though they be led to destruction by it. The truth is that apart from the predestined purpose of the GOD of all mercy to save HIS elect from these deceptions none would be able to deliver himself and all would likewise perish. None would ever be saved apart from this predestined purpose of GOD.
GOD does indeed predestine (ordain, predetermine) all things that come to pass, yet HE does not do so haphazardly, since HE is a GOD of order. “For God is not the author of confusion” (1Cor 14:33) Therefore we see HIM as the ORDAINER of both the cause and effect. HE set forth this principle as Paul expressed, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal 6:7) This principle cannot be overturned anymore than the orbits of the planets around the sun.
It is not overturned even in the case of the elect children of GOD. Were it not that JESUS CHRIST did become their SIN BEARER and their RIGHTEOUSNESS, as their SUBSTITUTE, even they must of necessity according to the principle of GOD’s decree reap the reward of their iniquity. “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom 3:26) The gift of faith is the effect of the blessing of GOD. The cause is HIS mercy. “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:48)
The writer of Proverbs understood this principle of cause and effect as he depicted the seeming senseless flight of birds who flit here and there, yet even they move in the prescribed orbits which are ordained by their CREATOR. They fly because they are made to be birds, birds are ordained to fly, thus those children of GOD who are predestinated unto the adoption of sons must be brought into a conformity to CHRIST. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10) “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” (2Thess 2:13)
By the same token those “who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4) shall perish because of their sin. All of the sons of Adam inherit the curse of sin which was the result of his disobedience.
While this “curse” is in itself enough to cause them to merit eternal destruction, no man will ever be cast into the lake of fire simply because he was born with a disposition to sin. “The curse causeless will not come”. Men are destroyed in that infernal pit because they have each one individually disregarded the law of GOD (whether it be that which is written in tablets of stone or upon the heart. See Rom.2:12,13) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom 5:12) “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Rom 1:20)mam